94 towing vans gather dust

Officials explain that vehicles lay unused at Tardeo police station, as the traffic department prefers to use private vans

The traffic police department in the last three years has purchased almost 94 vans to use as towing vehicles. However, MiD DAY has found that the towing vans have been lying unused at Tardeo police station and Kalbadevi Chowkie.

Turning to rust: An official said that the government towing vans were
not being used, as traffic personnel did not want to drive the towing cars
and preferred to guide the labourers. Pic/Milind Karekar

When asked why the cars were gathering dust, officials from the traffic police cited that there was an acute shortage of manpower to manoeuvre the cars and that most of the towing vans in use were on contract.

Officials explained that the private vans were used more as the private contractors also provided drivers, helping them to tackle the scarcity of men. An official on the condition of anonymity further added that most police personnel did not want to tow vehicles from the road and preferred guiding the driver and labourers.

Around 60 to 65 contracted private vehicles are used in the city by the traffic cops to pick up vehicles from no-parking areas. "The other reason why government vehicles are gathering dust is that when a private van is used, 10 per cent of the commission is shared between the senior police inspector and the contractor," added the officer.

Also private towing vans are used as the government towing vans are unable to pick up luxury cars such as a Mercedes Benz or an Audi.

He said that the government towing vans were used mostly during VIP visits, bandobasts and the festive season.

But Brijesh Singh,  additional commissioner of police (Traffic), said, "There are some problems with manpower, but we do use government vehicles."

He added that the government vehicles were used to tow away vehicles like  Audis with the help of cushions.

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